“So it’s almost like the only recourse other than just sort of sitting around waiting for luck to strike is dating apps.”But then, if you get tired of the apps, or have a bad experience on them, it creates this ambivalence—should you stop doing this thing that makes you unhappy or keep trying in the hopes it might yield something someday?This tension may lead to people walking a middle path—lingering on the apps while not actively using them much.The whole endeavor seems tired.“I’m going to project a really bleak theory on you,” Fetters says.“What if everyone who was going to find a happy relationship on a dating app already did?“Every city or every stop the entire way, I would just swipe.” He had no intention of meeting up with these people, since he and his friend were literally just passing through.And he realized, he says, that “the idea of being one swipe away from a potential mate kind of lowers the meaning of potential interaction.”Hinge, originally, was a swiping app very similar to Tinder except that it only offered you people who were connected to you through Facebook friends.“I kinda use it now just for entertainment when I’m bored or standing in lines. I noticed a huge shift in my intentions.”Lawal remembers the exact moment it switched for him.At the end of 2014, he took a road trip with his friend from Birmingham, Alabama to St. “On the way down there, I spent a lot of time on Tinder,” he says.
I’m pretty frustrated and annoyed with it because it feels like you have to put in a lot of swiping to get like one good date.”I have a theory that this exhaustion is making dating apps worse at performing their function.
While the possibilities seem exciting at first, the effort, attention, patience, and resilience it requires can leave people frustrated and exhausted.“It only has to work once, theoretically,” says Elizabeth Hyde, a 26-year-old bisexual law student in Indianapolis.
Hyde has been using dating apps and sites on and off for six years.
But in the past year or so, I’ve felt the gears slowly winding down, like a toy on the dregs of its batteries.
I feel less motivated to message people, I get fewer messages from others than I used to, and the exchanges I do have tend to fizzle out before they become dates.